Why the foreign market wasn’t all doom and gloom for Leicester Traders

By Kiran Bedder-Patel

Traders from more than 40 countries set out their stalls at Leicester’s clock tower for a five-day market which brought an array of tastes and distinctive arts and crafts.

Some have claimed the event, which is held twice a year, is fierce competition for existing traders around the city centre such as the regular market stalls and small businesses.

That’s not the case according to Barry Leader, the 75-year-old egg seller from Leicester who has been standing proudly at his market stall since 1962. He believes nothing will ever take away his customers.

Barry Learner

“We don’t care what colour, creed, race, height, weight you are, you are my customer and I will always make you feel like you’re the only one,” he said, before serving a disabled elderly woman – branding her as “gorgeous” and asking her how her morning had been.

“I welcome the continental market, it brings even more diversity to Leicester,” he added. “I’ve been on this market too long to hold grudges, my customers are mine and I know they will never go anywhere else – 85% of the people I sell to are regulars and have been for years as they know they cannot get any fresher eggs if they tried – they are clucked out on Thursday night and are being sold Friday morning.”

The five-day long event hosted from the clock tower down to Gallowtree Gate attracted many people from around the city centre to sample everything from fruity, French crepes to hand-made handbags from Vietnam.

Barry said: “Your customers will never leave no matter what, and it’s about building rapport with them and making them feel special.

“Look at this lovely lady coming up. I know straight away she’s going to tell me her husband is ill because I see her every five weeks and she updates me about him and I remember it.”

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